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Toyota factory tour

Yesterday afternoon the CJS office arranged a trip for students to go around the Toyota factory and museum which was really interesting. We saw all the “dancing robots” doing welding, and it was like something out of star wars or the matrix, or that Picasso advert where the robot goes crazy and starts painting the car all over! The most amazing thing is that now 97% of the manufacturing process is done by robots/machines, and they can produce almost 1000 cars a day. The museum was pretty good too, but what I found most interesting is how they developed the hybrid cars by using nature as inspiration. They studied a particular bird which can fly high over Mt Everest purely by using thermals and very little effort on its own part, and from that they developed the concept of a hybrid car which is much more environmentally friendly. They also showed what they hope cars will be like in the future – environmentally friendly, affordable, and able to react and respond to other cars/objects to minimise collisions. The tour ended with a performance by the a robot which can play the trumpet – and pretty realistically as well! Certainly better than I could!

Ive been struggling to find time for myself  this last week as every free moment I have is filled up instantly with preparation for classes, homework, trips to the bank and trips to the ward office! Ive finally got my Foreigner Card and have sorted out money now, but since the bank is only open Mon-Friday 9-3 and classes finish at 5 most days, its hard to find time to go there!

Ive been meeting a lot of really cool Japanese people at uni, but sometimes I feel intimidated by how smartly everyone dresses for uni. Whilst SOAS adopts the “wear whatever you can find on the floor which hasn’t been covered in mud from the last protest you were at or isn’t being used as a towel” approach to dressing, Japan takes dressing for classes much more seriously. All the girls wear heels and jewelery, and the boys are all so stylish; its unbelievable. SOAS people should clean up their act! 😉

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